glad to have you with us on this edition of "newsline." it's friday january 16th. i'm catherine kobayashi in tokyo. authorities in belgium say they have foiled a terror attack. police raided a town near brussels as part of an investigation into extremists returning from syria. they shot dead two suspects and arrested a third. >> during the investigation we found that this group was about to commit terrorist attacks in belgium. >> prosecutors say raids were carried out in vervies and the
capital. they say the suspects were planning to launch a large-scale attack targeting police officers. officers evacuated a police station in brussels out of fear explosives may have been planted. authorities have not yet confirmed whether the three suspects had links to last week's attacks in france. at least 150 people from belgium are said to have gone to syria as fighters after being inspired by extreme ideology. this has raised concern that they may carry out acts of terrorism on home soil. japan's prime minister has left for a tour to the middle east. shinzo abe will travel to four countries and territories. as part of his diplomacy for 2014 he's expected to announce support for the global fight against the militant group islamic state. abe will meet with leaders in egypt, jordan, israel and the palestinian territories. this is his first official trip abroad since he launched his third cabinet last month.
abe's first stop is egypt, where he'll speak about his diplomatic and national security policies. in the wake of the terrorist attacks in france, abe is expected to call on world leaders to take gradual steps to create stability in the region. he's also expected to convey his policy goal of proactively contributing to the creation of peace in the region. this will include financial support to countries such as egypt, jordan, turkey, lebanon and others destabilized by the islamic state insurgents. the top policy adviser to iraqi prime minister hader al abadi says the nation will continue to boost output of crude oil. he says it generation funds to fight islamic state militants. former oil minister tamir abbas gadhban spoke with nhk in tokyo. he voiced concern over the decline of crude oil prices by more than 50% in the past six
months. but he announced a plan to raise iraq's daily crude production from the current 3 million barrels to 4 million by the end of the year. he said the increase is necessary to fight islamic state militants and to rebuild the nation. iraq is the second largest crude oil producer among the organization of the petroleum exporting countries. gadhban criticized the top producer saudi arabia for tolerating the sliding price. >> no one single member of opec should take the decision in his hands. they've got to work collectively to defend the interests of all members together. >> gadhban told nhk the iraqi government would soon launch an operation to recapture mosel from islamic state. militants took the city last june. amnesty international has released what it says is shocking evidence of the scale of boko haram's latest attack. researchers with the
international human rights group have satellite images of northeastern nigeria. and they say those images show widespread destruction of the country's worst ever massacre. extremists with the islamist insurgent groups swept into the town of baga in borno state earlier this month and overran a military base. researchers analyzed satellite images of the area and interviewed eyewitnesses. they say the insurgents damaged or destroyed more than 3,700 buildings and killed hundreds of people. one of the witness interviews describes how boko haram was shooting indiscriminately, even killing a woman in labor. amnesty says the attack has created thousands of refugees in chad as people flee the violence. they're calling on the governments of the two countries to offer humanitarian assistance. the head of u.n. peacekeeping operations says his department is trying to strengthen its ability to
respond to threats from islamic state insurgents and other groups. herve lazeuse spoke to nhk in tokyo. >> now we are facing terrorist armed groups who are affiliated to jihadists and other networks al qaeda, but increasingly with links to dash, the islamic state. >> he welcomed japan's decision to provide about $33 million in new funding for u.n. peacekeeping activities in africa. the government made the announcement on tuesday. ladsous praised japan's plans to broaden the role of the self-defense force. but he says the u.n. does not want japan to send troops into combat. he says he hopes japan will offer lojs ticical support, this could include training personnel, and transporting troops and supplies. the u.s. government is make
if easier for americans to travel to cuba than it has been for more than 50 years. officials are easing travel and trade restrictions. it's part of a deal to restore diplomatic relations between the two countries. the relaxed regulations will allow americans to travel to cuba for specific reasons including business trips and family visits. the ceiling on money transfers from americans will be raised from $500 every three months to $2,000. and a list of u.s. exports including construction materials, mobile phones and computers will expand. the new rules follows the release of 53 political prisoners cuba had promised to free. the u.s. severed diplomatic ties with cuba in 1961 after a socialist revolution brought fidel castro to power. washington has been maintaining economic sanctions ever since. u.s. president barack obama announced last month the two countries will start talks to normalize ties. u.s. officials will visit havana
next week to begin the process. cuban government officials revealed to nhk that president raul castro is ready to meet obama at an april summit in panama. they say he will call for face-to-face talks. it would be the first such public exchange between the two nations. japanese defense authorities are preparing to resume a controversial underwater drilling survey. it's being done to construct a u.s. marine corps facility in okinawa. many residents there are resisting the move. the japanese government plans to relocate the u.s. marine corps futenma air station. it would move from the densely populated ginowan city to the hen wa district in nago city. workers began making a floating pier on the shore of u.s. camp schwab. the camp is adjacent to the site
of the new facility. drilling at 12 of 24 places is done. but typhoons have suspended the process since september. protesters clashed with police as they tried to block one underwater drilling site. they staged a sit-in and demanded the relocation plan stop. local opposition has become even more intense since the gubernatorial election in november. voters put into office takeshi onaga, who opposes the plan. >> translator: during my campaign i pledged to stop the relocation of the base to henoko. i will do anything i can to keep my promise. >> but chief cabinet secretary yoshihide suga said the government will proceed with its plan. >> translator: the japanese government will make all efforts so that the futenma air base returns to japan as quickly as possible. we will safely continue the
process of relocation in henoko. >> he added the government received approval in 2013 for the relocation from the former governor. people in japan are getting a look at the behind the scenes thinking that shaped their country's policies decades ago. declassified diplomatic documents were released on thursday. they show government officials studied what the former emperor should say about world war ii on his first post-war visit to the united states. emperor showa, whose given name was hirohito, visited the country with empress kojun from september to october 1975. >> your majesty's visit symbolizes and strengthens the ties of friendship between our two peoples. >> emperor showa addressed world war ii at a dinner party at the white house on october 2nd.
[ speaking japanese ] >> the emperor did not make any further comment on the war. japanese officials were concerned that the americans might bring up the emperor's war responsibility. the documents show the emperor should talk about the war only briefly to avoid these questions. the director general of the japan center for asian historical records analyzed japan's thinking. >> translator: if the emperor kept silent about the war, it is possible ramifications could arise in high-level talks between the two nations.
japanese officials must have been worried about this. >> hatano adds that officials wanted to settle the issue of the emperor's war responsibility at that time. people are seeing the potential in post offices in vietnam. the japanese are keen to get their foot in the door. ai uchida joins us from our business desk. give us the details. what's happening here? >> catherine, people are expecting the postal service in vietnam to change drastically for the better. they're expecting it to improve. meanwhile, the japanese postal system is renowned for virtually no delays in deliveries. and so they want to take what they know over to vietnam. japan's communications state minister nishime and his vietnamese counterpart hyung exchanged a memorandum in hanoi. ministry officials say japan aims to improve vietnam's postal system and heighten the level of trust among vietnamese people in their postal services. japan will also provide
practices and information relating to banks and insurance businesses. the japanese government plans to work with its private sector in realizing the project in vietnam. it would help introduce japanese companies. the government hopes to launch such projects in other emergeing economies too. it has already exchanged a memorandum with myanmar. massive recalls over air bags made by a japanese company have rocked the global auto industry. now japanese authorities are thinking about expanding the role of safety inspectors. transport ministry officials currently limit their focus to carmakers. under the new proposal they would look at auto parts makers as well. at the center of the recalls are air bags made by takata. safety regulators say the devices can explode and spray metal fragments when deployed. fatal accidents have been reported in the united states and malaysia. automakers have conducted recalls and in japan more than 3 million vehicles have been affected.
the ministry officials say they want to be able to respond more quickly to auto parts defects. they're considering expanding the coverage of their on-site inspections to partsmakers and they're thinking about obliging parts makers to report defects found in their products. officials plan to study specific changes including revisions of the road transport vehicle law. they'll consult with the industry in the process. now let's take a look at markets. investors around the globe, they're shaken by switzerland's surprise move. policy makers at the swiss national bank scrapped on thursday a ceiling on the swiss franc against the euro. and the euro plunged 30% against the franc in just a few minutes after the decision before bouncing off that low. but other major currencies were rattled too. traders are take cover in the yen. they see it as another safe haven currency just like the swiss franc. against the yen the dollar dropped to a one-month low, dipping at one point below 116.
right now the u.s. currency is gaining a touch in the mid to lower 116 yen levels. the yen is also higher against the euro. the single currency dipped below 135 for the first time since october. last year. right now euro-yen 135.19 to 24. turning to shares on the tokyo stock exchange investors are selling across most sectors on the back of the stronger yen. the nikkei average plunged 2%. right now it's 16,760. bond traders sec the safety of japanese government bonds pushing down yields to a record low. the yield on the ten-year gjb briefly fell to 0.225%. looking on what's happening to other markets in this part of the world, south crease kospi trading in the negative. australia down more than half a%. the world trade organization has
ruled against argentina in a trade dispute with japan, the united states, and the european union. the issue is over the country's import restrictions. argentina has been requiring foreign companies that export there to import the same value of argentinean products. for example, if a foreign firm exports automobiles to argentina, the firm would be required to import the same value of products such as agricultural produce. japan along with the u.s. took the case to the wto three years ago. the trade body has ruled argentina is imposing a heavy burden on exporters and ordered its government to correct the measures. with the wto's latest decision oornlth's trade partners can raise tariffs on products imported from the country if it fails to correct the rules. japan's trade minister yoichi yoichi mizawa says concerns over protectionism were growing over emerging economies. he says the ruling is significant as it clearly shows the restrictions are
unacceptable. more updates for you in business next hour. here's another check on markets. ♪ japanese athletes have dominated women's wrestling since the sport made its olympic debut in 2004. they've won seven gold medals. now twin sisters are looking to continue that success when tokyo hosts the games in 2020. nhk world's rumina sujimoto reports. >> translator: i'm yasuha yasuha yasuha
yasuha matsuyuki. >> translator: i'm naruha. >> translator: our goal is to win medals at the tokyo olympics together. >> reporter: they're 15 years old but they already stand tall and their long arms give them an advantage in pinning down their opponent. at the all-japan junior high school championships last june yasuha competed in the 70 kilogram weight class. thanks to her impressive power and speed, she won the title. naruha entered the 62 kilogram class. due to her relentless attacks she too won her weight class. they train at this wrestling club. their father masahiro, is a coach here. the girls have been watching their father since an early age.
the girls took up wrestling at the age of 3 and gained strength by sparring with each other. when they were 8, they attended the beijing olympics. they watched as japanese wrestlers won gold medals. this inspired them with the aim of competing in the olympics. their progress has been given an additional boost. they were picked to take part in a special training camp for young wrestlers who look like promising candidates for the 2020 olympics. >> translator: we learn things that we don't learn at the usual junior high school training camps. >> reporter: both of the twins are working to overcome weaknesses. naruha is focusing on improving
her technique. she's practicing the moves for grabbing the opponent's back in order to gain points. >> translator: push, push. that was no good. your opponent will grab your leg. >> reporter: naruha can't hide her irritation at her father's coaching. >> translator: the most important aspect is psychological. she's still immature and can't take direction obediently. >> reporter: yasuha's main focus is putting on body weight. right now she weighs 64 kilograms, but she's aiming to compete in the 75-kilogram class. she eats all the time so she can gain weight and build up her strength. >> translator: if we can't win together, there's no point. >> translator: our aim is to win the olympics and the world
championships many times over. >> reporter: the target is clearly in their sight. they will be 20 when the tokyo olympics are held. they have just five years ahead to reach their goal. rumina sujimoto, mhk world, nagoya. the new year grand sumo tournament is now under way in tokyo. more and more fans are crowding into the stadium even on a weekday. our sumo reporter hiro morita has the latest after five days of action. >> after winning five or six tournaments last year yokozuna hakuho is continuing his winning ways. he's been bowling over opponents right and left. to make things even more exciting hakuho and former yokozuna taiho are tied with 32 titles. if hakuho wins one more he becomes sumo's all-time leader.
the fans are flocking into the venerable kokorikan stadium. for the first time in 18 years the house has been sold out for each of the five days since the competition began. these banners tell you there is not a seat to be had. this is the man who is bringing in the fans, a man who is on the verge of making sumo history. so far the yokozuna hasn't taken his foot off the accelerator since the tourney began. he entered day five with a spotless report. hakuho gets a firm grip and launches. attempts a snap down at the edge but hakuho gets the hall. evidently ikioi's right heel goes over the straw bales. hakuho dodges a bullet. now let's turn to another yokozuna. he had a dismal 2014 failing to win a single championship.
if he keeps coming up short, his career could come to an end much sooner than he would like. of course, he doesn't want that to happen and his strong desire to snap the dry spell is paying off. he's aggressive this time around and looks very determined to get the job done. harumafuji never lets up. his natural speed and sharp thrusts are doing the job. he's 5-0 and looks well on the way to redeeming himself. kak rie hoe was promoted to yokozuna in may but hasn't been fighting like one in recent tournaments. since becoming yokozuna he has yet to haul in a championship. making yokozuna is a great accomplishment by you're judged by how you perform at the top rank. to gain true respect as a bona fide yokozuna kakuryu has to win a championship. after four days he was 3-1. he tries on outside leg trip.
but he resists. he flexes his muscles, lifts kakuryu up and charges, but the yokozuna charged in. we jump to the latter part of the bout. he unsettles his balance and puts him way with a nifty throw. he escapes a near upset. that's it for today. please join me next week when i bring you up to date on hakuho's incredible run at a new chapter in sumo history. >> something to look forward to. time for a check of the weather. people in parts of china have been dealing with hazardous air pollution. but residents in and around beijing are getting a break from the heavy smog. meteorologist robert speta joins us with the latest. >> yes, it does look like the start off here on friday a cold front did push through the beijing area, it caused a bit of a stir in the atmosphere. and what we are seeing right now is that pushing off there toward the east. but air quality starting to
slowly improve. unfortunately, i don't think this is going to be lasting very long because what we have is another high coming in right behind that and when you get these high pressures set in, it suppresses the air, causes this inversion in the atmosphere. all the cold air stays right near the inverted surface. any pollutants that do come out and about, it stays right near the surface. and unfortunately, that deteriorates the air quality. the other thing is you do have 245 cold air very close to the ground. i did mark harbin on the map here because it's not always bad as far as though wintertime temperatures. some people are making the best of it there in northeastern china. let's go to some video we have of the harbin ice festival. quite a famous event in this area. i do want to show you actually one of the main attractions this year is this 300-meter-long ice slide. if you like the cold, that's probably the where you want to be. especially if you're into extreme sports. massive ice blocks were taken from a frozen river right near by the festival here.
lights set in. about 150-meter-long snow slide there as well. quite a popular spot. so starting off with a little bit of a light note there. people heading out and about. if you don't make it to that one, also in sapporo in february an ice festival takes place due to all the snowfall that japan typically gets. look at this. another storm system comes in by friday. saturday. that's going to set in a system. same thing by honorshow. you're still looking for more snow. let's talk about the tropics here. big change here. talking about the winter weather in the north. still have tropical weather in the south. the pope is in town here in the philippines. i know he has many plans out there in adviceaias. and unfortunately we have a storm system setting up on friday into saturday. don't expect it to make into a typhoon intensity type storm but it is going to be getting into rainfall. 200 millimeters of total precipitation could be seen. then into the americas things staying rather wet and chilly toward the southeast.
even some mixed precipitation there. 113-kilometer per-hour winds and 40 centimeters of snowfall in british columbia very well expected with this next system into that area. vancouver and seattle. but this is what i want to mention. back toward the east we have some wintry precipitation in the great lakes area. behind that high pressure coming in yet again. that draws in the cold air. same thing here in north america. thing is we still have some gusty winds with this. temperatures. these are your lows right here. your friday lows minus 6 in chicago. oklahoma city at minus 2. even atlanta minus 1. absolutely chilly in the deep south. but the wind chill combined with some of these temperatures, especially in the north, minus 30. when it really starts to gust it could near minus 50. absolutely just chilly out there for you. looking at some windy conditions still here into the british isles. upwards of about 130 kilometers per hour could be expected. also a little bit of troughing down toward the south. northern italy, southern france do expect a few severe
>> garrison keillor: maxine kumin lives on a farm in new hampshire where she breeds arabian and quarter horses writing poetry, four novels, more than 20 children's books. she says, "i don't want to write poems that aren't necessary. i want to write poems that matter." >> this is a little one called after love. afterward, the compromise. bodies resume their boundaries. these legs, for instance, mine. your arms take you back in. spoons of our fingers, lips admit their ownership. the bedding yawns, a door blows aimlessly ajar and overhead, a plane singsongs coming down. nothing is changed, except there